Bob Shiles Staff writer
October 5, 2013
LUMBERTON — The most effective way to grow North Carolina’s economy is to support existing businesses in their efforts to expand, state Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said during a brief stop in Lumberton on Friday.
Decker was the keynote speaker at the announcement that Flo-Tite Valves and Controls and Titan Flow Control are expanding their manufacturing operations in Lumberton. Titan Flow Controls and Flo-Tite Inc. are companies that specialize in industrial ball valve and automation equipment, as well as pipeline strainers and check valves.
The announcement was made at the site of the old Acme Electric building on West Fifth Street, where the two companies have been operating since early this year.
“These are two very healthy companies,” Decker said. “Flo-Tite plans to create 15 to 25 new jobs and invest more than $1.5 million in the county. Titan Control plans to create 10 to 15 new jobs and invest more than $2 million.”
Decker emphasized the importance of manufacturing to the state’s economy, noting that Friday was National Manufacturing Day.
“There are over 430,000 manufacturing jobs in North Carolina,” she said. “That is 9 percent of the the total employment in the state.
“The skilled workforce in Robeson County is a perfect match for Flo-Tite and Titan Flow Control, and will enable the companies to continue to succeed and provide quality products made right here in North Carolina.”
In a statement, Gov. Pat McCrory said that creating jobs across North Carolina is a priority of his administration.
“We’re keenly focused on rural counties like Robeson and encouraging job growth where it’s needed the most,” he said.
Flo-Tite Valves makes high-quality ball valves and valve automation equipment with more than 30 years of design and manufacturing experience. The company provides products for water, sea water, chemical, utilities, pulp and paper,
hydro-power, petroleum, power generation, food and beverage, and space industry needs.
Titan Flow Control Inc. was established in 2000 by a group of industry veterans. The company manufactures a variety of industrial and commercial piping products, including check valves, pipeline strainers, butterfly valves, pump protection products, and additional pipeline accessories. Titan’s capabilities extend to complex fabricated products, custom design units, and specialty screens for commercial HVAC.
Flo-Tite and Titan Valve have both experienced significant growth in their business during the past year. The new facility in Lumberton has allowed the companies to increase inventory and machining capabilities, as well as hire new employees.
“Every product in the world starts with a valve somewhere,” said Martin Gibbons, president of the two companies and Robeson County’s Industrialist of the Year in 2012. “Titan designs products that are totally manufactured here. We can supply almost anything. We can convert the standard to the specific.
“Flo-Tite and Titan are both very pleased to have the opportunity to be able to take advantage of our sales growth and share this success with our community,” Gibbons said. “The decision to make the investment to expand and modernize our facilities and add jobs was made easier based on promised assistance from state, county and city government agencies.”
Greg Cummings, Robeson County’s industrial recruiter, said the news of new jobs is welcome in a county with one of the state’ highest unemployment rates.
“It’s a perfect fit with the location to I-95, the county’s skilled workforce and the availability of the (Acme) building.” he said. “The expansion came at the right time.”